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Is your sub-contractor aware of his three legal obligations?

by , 10 February 2014
Have a sub-contractor? If so, continue reading to find out what his three legal obligations are so you can help him to comply.

In this article, we gave you three safety obligations that your sub-contractors must adhere to. Now we're going to give you three legal obligations for your sub-contractor.

Your sub-contractor has responsibilities under the following three separate areas of law:

#1: Contractual obligations. You and your sub-contractor will govern your relationship based on the contract you've signed.

The Health & Safety Advisor says you must encourage your sub-contractor to discuss any areas of concern with you as soon as possible. This would be any hazards in the workplace which they can't remove or moderate themselves.

#2: Common law obligations. You and your sub-contractors have a duty of care towards anyone you might affect by your operations. This includes your employees.

If you withhold such care from anyone, you may be sued for negligence at common law.

The person suing you will have to show you or your sub-contractor was negligent and failed to exercise the standard of care required.

#3: Statutory obligations. According to the Advisor, in general, both you as principal contractor, and each sub-contractor, are legally responsible for the safety and health of employees.

If you breach statutory obligations, it will not matter whether it was negligence that caused the breach or not. The matter will be treated as a criminal offence. And this means you'll be liable to fines and in certain circumstances, imprisonment or both.

It's also important that you abide to your duties as well. You can't tell your sub-contractor to adhere to his duties when you're not being compliant yourself. You must practice what you preach.

Now that you know what the responsibilities are with regards to your sub-contractor, make sure they adhere to them.

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